We live in a time where marketing techniques, strategies, and technologies are constantly changing and evolving. Marketing decisions that were made within just the past year or two might already be stale and ineffective. All businesses must continuously assess and adjust their marketing strategy.
So where do you start? How do you go about making marketing decisions that will ultimately lead to a better reputation and increased profitability? Due to the rapidly shifting digital and traditional marketing landscapes, it is completely understandable if you don’t know where to begin. When in doubt, begin with the basics.
Make sure your efforts are focused on connecting with and engaging your target audience. Create a profile of your typical customer. For example, if that person happens to be a 50-year-old high-income female, then your marketing and advertising should be primarily directed at 50-year-old high-income females. In addition to gender, age, and financial status, location plays a role as well. Don’t waste advertising dollars by running ads in Philadelphia Magazine, for instance, if the majority of your customers reside within a 50-mile radius of Richmond. If you don’t have a clear and concise handle on who your target audience is, first take a step back, to focus, before pulling the trigger on a new marketing or advertising campaign.
Focus on strengths to position your business as an industry leader — but don’t sell your services. Most folks don’t want to be sold to. Instead, figure out what your audience’s needs are, and then demonstrate how your company can solve a problem that your customers and clients might have. Through your marketing and advertising, prove that you’re an industry leader by providing informational, educational, and even (when the time is right) entertaining content. Focus less on your business itself, and instead focus more on your customer’s needs.
In order to obtain the aforementioned industry leader status, it is imperative to create a professional image for your business. If your business offers the highest quality of services, your marketing efforts should mirror that professionalism. Something as simple as an attractive logo or website design has the ability to influence customers into selecting your company over a competitor’s. Your marketing message should be concise, consistent, and professional in every aspect.
Along with presenting yourself in a professional manner, reputation is incredibly important. In the digital marketplace, customers’ decisions are often influenced by ratings, reviews, and feedback from other customers. Whether you’re providing tips and advice through social media platforms such as Facebook and Twitter or you’re answering customers’ questions on your business’s website, every piece of communication, public or private, should echo the professionalism that contributes to your company being an industry leader. Positioning your business in this way often leads to more word-of-mouth referrals — AKA free advertising.
How do you decide what type of marketing and advertising will work best for your business? In days gone by, marketing and advertising usually meant print ads, television and radio spots, outdoor (billboard) advertising, and a Yellow Pages ad in the local telephone directory. While those traditional options are occasionally still viable, these days you also have an abundance of digital marketing options at your fingertips. Along with your company’s website, which should serve as the central hub of your digital marketing efforts, it is now essential to explore the following options as well: search engine marketing, email marketing, and social media marketing. Search engine marketing refers to techniques that get your business’s website listed higher in search engine result pages — Google, Yahoo, Bing, etc. While gaining new customers is obviously important, connecting with occasional email “blasts” is a terrific way to keep current customers engaged as well. Finally, social media marketing platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, and Google+, are perfect for sharing informational, educational, and entertaining bits of content that help keep your business on the collective radar of your customers.
That’s a lot to digest. For larger companies that have a dedicated in-house marketing team, those individuals should already be aware of and implementing marketing and advertising initiatives. Smaller businesses, though, often find it beneficial to outsource this type of work, especially in situations where a company does not have a marketing director. Whether you require assistance with a single aspect of marketing — social media marketing, for example — or more of a full-service approach, including strategy and planning services, Torx has the experience and expertise to help with those tasks.
Jumping into the world of marketing and advertising may seem daunting at first. But if you take the time to develop an intelligent, finely-tuned strategy, you will soon begin to see increased business, a return on your investment, and a leg up on your competitors.
If you are interested in discussing your business’s digital marketing strategy with us, give us a call at 804.577.8679 or fill out the form below!
About the author:
Partner, Director of Development
Christopher is the Director of Development and one of the partners at Torx. In addition to keeping Torx's Richmond office firing on all cylinders, he can often be found deep in the trenches, building custom content management systems and WordPress-powered websites. He still remembers how to write Basic computer programs on Apple IIs and Commodore 64s.